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robin,

I love JoAnn29's answer.

How much assistance does your mom receive in her "assisted living apartment?" If it's enough to see to her day-to-day needs, how much assistance does she really need from you? If your mom reduces you to tears, curtail your visits! If she has needs that assisted living doesn't cover; i.e. needs that draw you into the picture, maybe memory care is the answer.

Dementia is a progressive thing. It will only get worse. Your mom's verbal abuse may respond to an antidepressant or anti-anxiety medication. Or maybe not. Still, it's worth looking into. An antidepressant and low-dose Seroquel made a big difference in my mom. They (or something like them) may make a difference in yours.

Abuse is abuse even if the source is dementia, and you shouldn't have to take it. Boundaries still apply. Loving an abuser doesn't mean sacrificing your own health and well-being for their sake. You can take care of your mom and take care of yourself, too!
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Hi Im in UK so alot of the laws and social assistance doesnt apply but feelings are the same so hopefully i can contribute. I feel ive been tricked somewhat into caring for aging / verging on dementia suffering parent ( i lost my job and home though illness recently ) . It was somewhat a kick in the nuts to be told im only providing shelter or youd be homeless. Or Im criticised or some other negative thing hourly. I have a tendency towards depression myself and came here vulnerable myself to this onslaught. Believe me ive already felt such anger myself im lost to who i am? so dont feel so hard on yourself. Its so hard to be the good child we want to be with someone we no longer know in varying degrees and often abusive too for good measure. I didnt realise my mum had this coming on but she has, its obvious. The constant defensiveness and parting with huge sums of money yet throwing a paddy over a few pence about using toilet roll. I was really shocked when she kicked the washing basket across the kitchen as i wanted to go out and investigate public transport links ( as my mum constantly gets angry about taxi fares ) my car broke too so its in garage for weeks, yet this was the result of this attempt to leave the house and an accusation that it was a funny day to get a train sunday ( there was a train id checked and shown her - but this was waved away and she wouldnt look properly )and that i must be going out to buy drugs!!! I said im not staying in the house all day stagnant but i have been doing simply as i have a damaged shoulder from a fall but i cant let it affect my behaviour forever. Already i feel a dark cloud on waking to another long day of avoiding and tip toeing round her every verbal subject turns into an argument or defensiveness or accusations. She wont listen to reason or look at the evidence. Simple thing i had itchy skin - she said silly thats conditions youve been using not shower gel. I checked it is shower gel, but this insistence she is still right. I know alot have it worse. You have a life too. I feel i'll be checking in more as this thing develops. Im ashamed to say if i had somewhere to go and live i would. I worked 20 years solid fulltime a well paid job , i got a degree was the perfect daughter until i developed endometriosis, worked 15 years in chronic very bad pain most days which eventually cost me my job ( waiting for it all to go through some small payment from work and stuff, and sale of my apartment equity again small to live off until i get a job.) Not sure i can do the same type of work as it mentally made me ill but at least self sufficient , I have debts thats why i cant support myself without doing a high calibre job but a lower paid job and live here for a bit was the plan agreed with her, yet here not sure i can hack it either its been 13 days !!! Call me spoit, but massive life change ( i was hardly living high life i just worked! ) and i could do without the negative insults and criticisms and arguments all day. Im already pretty fragile believe me i really am . Im probably mentally il myself in a way. The dr seemed concerned and offered support for me so see what comes of that. I just need my shoulder fixing then i can work. The endo seems gone but i fell and damaged back and been 4 months of agony . I think something is broken but no x rays scans yet ! done etc . Sorry to rant on . My main point is that love is a two way stream whether we like it or not , eventually the insult/ behaviour ( often blissfully unaware theyve been committed ) debits stack up and wipe away as you can they do stack up . Self care is very important it seems in this caring business alot of self care so you have something to give.
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CantDance Jan 1, 2019
cazpot,

You don't sound spoiled as you suggested, only overwhelmed and depressed in the face of nonstop verbal and emotional abuse on top of pain from medical issues. Anyone would be burned out in similar circumstances. And you're right. As insults stack up, love takes a beating, and after awhile, compassion melts away.

You mentioned being "tricked" into caring for a parent "merging on dementia." I also understand your financial/health dilemma. If you took your mom to a neurologist and got a dementia diagnosis, would there be programs available to get your mother into a "daycare" setting, or perhaps some other kind of assistance? I don't know if those programs are available in the UK or not, but for caregivers here in the US who have access, they can be a Godsend for both dementia sufferers and caregivers.

It's sounds as though you're stuck in a miserable situation. Until some alternative can be found, take care of yourself as much as you can! Long walks with a destination or purpose in mind (or not!) may be your best remedy for the moment. Place as much distance as you can, as often as you can between you and your mother's toxicity! Yes, she'll probably abuse you for it, but she'd be abusing you if you were at home anyway! You hit the nail on the head with your statement about self-care! It is absolutely key to your own health and well-being!
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Is this new behaviour? If so, ask the AL if they can have a urine test done for an infection, UTI. Hopefully she sees a neurologist. If so, ask if there is a medication she can be given.

Just try to tell yourself, this isn't Mom, this is the Dementia. Literally, her brain is dying. She can't control her thoughts anymore. Its not personal. If when you visit and she starts the abuse, tell her you will be back when she can talk to you nicely and leave. Will it work, maybe. If you are Moms main caregiver, you will be the one she takes everything out on. Sorry, but you become the badguy.
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Well Robin you didn’t give us very many details to work with but the fact that you go to visit, are verbally abused and wind up in tears is enough to say that you should stay away from the flame that burns.
There is a reason you are drawn in. Perhaps the person you visit is mentally ill. You visit because you care. In spite of the fact that you know they are ill, you take the abuse and apply it to your wounds and you weep. Only you know why you CHOOSE to do this.
There is one person in control of this scenario and that is you.
Stay away until you can handle it.
Hugs and know that you are loved.
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Is this new behavior? Have you talked to moms doctor about it?

If this is simply how your mom is, how about taking a break? Or leaving when she becomes abusive?

You can't change her behavior. You can only change what you do.
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